Welcome to our Alumni Spotlight where we will feature alumni of the East Rockaway School District. The alumni spotlight is
designed to keep the community up-to-date with all our students
accomplish upon graduation.
Should you like to participate or contribute to the alumni spotlight, please contact Donna Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrew Rosenberg at email@example.com
Joshua Warner is a graduate from the Class of 2012. Currently, Josh is a full time Technical Director and Adjunct Lecturer of Scenic Design at CUNY York College. Most of his day is spent planning/mentoring students on how to build or actually building for one of the four productions per year. He also continues a freelance career outside of academia designing for various theaters throughout NYC and beyond. Josh opened 4 shows this past month and is looking forward to his Off-Broadway debut in February.
Josh received an Advanced Regents Diploma from ERHS. He decided to take 5 credits of tech courses rather than a foreign language, which allowed him the opportunity to be exposed to more visual thinking classes with tech teachers. Josh received a BFA from Emerson College in Theater Design & Technology with a concentration in Scenic Design. While in college, Josh worked part time in the carpentry shop, was involved in the student theatre and played a few games with the Quidditch team. By the end of college, Josh had designed over 15 fully produced productions with his hand in over 50 others.
His advice to ERHS students is to “push yourself to try something that you may have an interest in - you still have plenty of time to decide if isn’t for you. Engulf yourself in what you love and don’t second guess your abilities. As I was worried about applying to Emerson and if I’d get in, Mr. Bishop looked up from his painting and said “If not you, then WHO do they want?” Believe that you are the best and push yourself to become that person.”
James Anemone is an alumnus of East Rockaway’s Class of 2014. James is currently a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He will be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Minor in Music History. James explains that the extra-curricular activities that he got involved in at ERHS, including playing in the musicals, Jazz Band and Concert Band, prepared him the most for what he is now experiencing at college.
After graduation, he plans to attend Temple University to pursue a Master’s degree in Piano Performance. He resides in Exton, PA and operates his own Piano studio. James still performs in many concerts and competes across the country. He most recently performed at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
The advice that James would like to share with the students of East Rockaway is, “students need to realize that it’s okay to be undecided with what you want to do. Attending college is your best opportunity to throw yourself into a learning environment where you live life to a new level of independence while meeting new people, and exploring different possibilities for future careers. Life is far more elastic and interesting than we sometimes make it seem, and opportunities are endless. The most important thing for a High School student who is preparing for college or beyond is to simply take all of the opportunities that comes forth. Hardly ever say no because you never know which job, internship, or class you take will be life changing.”
John Machovec is an alumnus of East Rockaway’s Class of 2014. John recently graduated from Syracuse University and majored in Information Management and Technology. He received an offer to join KPMG one of the Big Four Accounting firms in New York City and will be working in their Cyber Security Services Division. John shared that many of the classes he took here at East Rockaway, especially honors and AP courses, helped prepare him for his experiences at Syracuse. Being enrolled in these classes also allowed John to transfer 30 credits towards his Syracuse Degree. These credits put him in an advantageous position while applying and at college. His advice would be to not underestimate what you can accomplish while still in high school. The work which you put in now can set you up in the future in ways you may not even anticipate.”
While in college, John participated in activities outside of his academics. He chose clubs and internship experiences that were related to his major/career choice. John discussed, “as president of the Cyber Security Club, I participated in national competitions against other schools, branches of the military, hackers and information security professionals. Our team placed in multiple national competitions winning cash prizes and the opportunity to meet the best in the field.” John also worked as an information security intern with Sony Music at The Orchard, the industry’s leading independent distributor and label services company.
Jonathan Schloth an alumnus of East Rockaway’s Class of 2014. Currently Jonathan is a Junior at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Jonathan shared that many of the classes he took at East Rockaway helped prepare him for the more intense workload of college. He believes that more students should get involved in college level classes that are offered at ERHS to “help the transition from high school to college.”
Jonathan has had some great experiences while at George Mason University. He is currently in an accelerated Master’s program and will be graduating in the spring of 2019. He hopes to become a social studies teacher upon graduation. This field has lead Jonathan to have professors that are historians, former Congressmen, lawyers, etc. Jonathan states “These are not only experts in their field, but they are experts in how we learn their content. I have not only learned facts, but critical thinking skills on a very high level that allow me to formulate rational thoughts and opinions.”
Jonathan has an extremely demanding schedule, where he has learned to balance his academics and being an athlete at a Division 1 school. He is a member of the Cross Country/Track team. One of the many positives of college athletics is having a consistent schedule. His schedule consists of on most days, wake up, morning run, class in the morning/afternoon, then do homework, next go to practice for 3-4 hours. Then go get dinner with the team and do some more homework. Then I wake up the next morning and repeat. There simply isn’t the time to slack off.
Jonathan plans to return to Long Island after he graduates to pursue a full time teaching position. The advice he would like to share with the ERHS students is, “to take a variety of classes in high school to see what interests you, but to also challenge yourself to a more vigorous workload. If you get accustomed to the work of the harder classes, the transition to college will be so much easier. Don’t try and coast through high school even if you do not plan on going onto college. The skills you gain from learning to work hard can be applicable to anything students do in life.”